Tuesday, December 31, 2013

100 Earth Friendly New Year's Resolutions for 2014

As the New Year dawns many people go through the annual ritual of making resolutions for the coming year. This can be an opportune time to commit to being more environmentally and socially responsible. Here are one hundred New Year's resolutions for business people, consumers, and the general public that can have a lasting impact on the planet and all the life forms that inhabit it.

2013 Brownfield Renewal Person of the Year Award

The 2013 Brownfield Renewal Person of the Year Award went to Daniel Walsh, Director of the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) in New York City.

Dr. Walsh is an outspoken advocate for municipal governance of remedial action programs by US cities which is a role traditionally played by state government. His efforts have contributed to local economic development, public health protection and community development goals.

He established the New York City Voluntary Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), the nation's first municipally-run brownfield cleanup program. The NYC BCP was launched in 2011 and has become one of the most prolific cleanup programs in the country. In its first 32 months of operation, OER has approved cleanup plans for more than 160 brownfield projects, enabling over $4.5 billion in new development of more than 13 million square feet of building space-40% of which is job-producing retail, commercial and office space—and producing over 4,500 permanent new jobs and 13,400 construction jobs, and generating more than $1.5 billion in new, long-term tax revenue for city and state government.

2013 Global Excellence Project of the Year Award Winners

The 2013 Global Excellence Project of the Year awardees were selected by the editors at Renewable Energy World and Power Engineering. These project winners were selected based on having made a significant impact on the entire renewable energy industry in terms of the technology that was employed, as well as their industry and community impact. The winners displayed excellence in five renewable energy technologies: Solar, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal and Hydro.

2013 Green Star Awards for Environmental Emergency Heroes

In 2013 the collaborative initiative between the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Green Cross International (GCI), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) conferred the Green Star Awards for those who have confronted environmental emergencies to the following 6 people:


Kenya Red Cross Society; Prof Nikola Nikolov of Macedonia
Sundar Prasad Sharma of Nepal, and Prof Sergiy Zibtsev of Ukraine (joint Award)

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Brower Youth Awards

In October, Brower Youth Awards acknowledged six winners for 2013. These six winners distinguished themselves with their creative and effective work tackling problems ranging from community organization, renewable energy and climate education.

Alex Freid, 22, of New Hampshire, for reinventing waste diversion on college campuses through his non-profit organization The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN).

2013 SEAD Global Efficiency Medal for Computer Monitors

The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) Initiative, an international collaboration of 16 member economies and an initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial. As reported in Energy Manager Today, the winners of its 2013 Global Efficiency Medal competition for the world’s most energy-efficient computer monitors are:

The LG 16EN33SA received the SEAD Global Efficiency Medal in the small-size category with 53 percent greater efficiency than conventional models (15 inches to less than 20 inches). This monitor can be purchased in India.

2013 Cleantech Open Cleanie and National Sustainability Award Winners

The Cleantech Open is a technology accelerator that acknowledges teams that have made a significant contribution to cleantech. Here are the 2013 winners of the "Cleanie" and "National Sustainability" Awards:

Cleanie Award

The Cleantech Open has awarded PowWow Energy the Grand Prize Cleanie award. As the top cleantech entrepreneur of the year, PowWow Energy earns a monetary award of $200,000. PowWow was selected for developing a technology that enables farmers and ranchers to quickly detect water leaks that can destroy an entire crop or cause thousands of dollars of damage.

2013 WWF Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal

The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal was created in 1970 and is awarded annually by WWF for outstanding service to the environment. This year the WWF has awarded the Medal to Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of international consumer goods group Unilever. Polman is a widely recognized sustainability leader who has led Unilever on one of the most successful sustainability journeys ever witnessed in the business community.

2013 Year End Review: US Environmental Success Stories

In 2013, concerned people, organizations and companies in the U.S. and around the world helped move environmental causes forward. From new legislation to the protection of habitats and ecosystems, here is a sampling of U.S. environmental achievements in 2013.

A new study showed that a solid majority of Americans accept the reality of global warming and are calling for action on climate change.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Event - International and Middle East Conference on Sustainability and Human Development 2013 (iMESH 2013)

International and Middle East Conference on Sustainability and Human Development 2013 (iMESH 2013) will take place on April 2 - 4 2014 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company conference halls, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Event - Jumpstart: How to Accelerate New Business Models

Jumpstart: How to Accelerate New Business Models will take place on March, 4, 2014 at the Conference Board Conference Center in New York, NY. Incremental innovation is important, but it’s not enough. In today’s highly connected world, established companies are being disrupted by emerging competitors on a daily basis. You need to find new ways to create new businesses and new business models that can drive sustainable growth. Steve Blank, a pioneer of the lean startup movement once said “Existing companies execute a business model… startups look for one.” While few of us work for startups, we can all benefit from innovating new business models to create new sources of growth.

Event - The 11th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference

11th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference will take place on April 21 - 23, 2014, in Raleigh, NC. The Conference theme is, "INNOVATION: From Cutting Edge to Common Place." You can expect top notch speakers, industry-leading exhibitors, continuing education credits, and bonus special events for engineers, architects, transportation professionals and energy innovators.

Event - Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference

The Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference will take place on March 3 - 4, 2014, in Baltimore, MD. The sharing economy: no place is this more evident than on our campuses. Students are rethinking vehicle ownership, swapping clothes, trading books, and participating in MOOCs. In other words, finding ways to make their limited funds go further. Campuses must also find opportunities to conserve limited resources, make college more affordable, and make our communities more resilient to economic and environmental change. A sharing economy is leading to more sustainable consumption, operations, services, and lifestyles in our communities and on our campuses.

Video - NRDC Environmental Victories in 2013

This NRDC video shows what people can achieve when they work together. NRDC Members helped to secure many environmental successes in 2013, this video summarizes some of those victories.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Video - Electronics Built in Bad Design

Massive consumption of consumer electronics is a serious and growing problem, particularly when it comes to the millions of tons of toxic e-waste generated each year. This video is part of the series of animations from the maker of The Story of Stuff. This latest movie is aimed at the “design for the dump” mentality that the electronics industry has adopted in an effort to increase their profits. Instead of designing things to break or fail the video encourages the industry to adapt to the “green times” and encourages product take back, reducing toxic components, making STUFF longer lasting and more easily recyclable and fixable.

Video - Problems in the Life Cycle of a Smartphone

Smartphones are among the most popular consumer and lifestyle products today. Unfortunately a whole series of problems occur during the global production process, ranging from bad working conditions to environmental pollution. This video reviews the problems in the life of a smartphone from the production of raw materials through to processing, distribution, usage and disposal.

Video - Fossil Fuel Divestment Resources

Whether you want to know more, bring the divestment movement to your community, take an alumni divest pledge or personally divest from fossil fuels, 350.org has what you need:

Video - Using the Bible as Support for Climate Denial

This video shows how some Republicans and others use the Bible to support climate denial.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Why Christianity is Important to Action on Climate Change

There are Christian movements that are powerful advocates of responsible environmental stewardship, but there are others whose faith appears to be the basis of their rejection of environmentalism. Christian beliefs are important to efforts to combat climate change and protect the natural world. Christianity is the world's largest religion comprising 2 billion people or 31.59 percent of the world's population. The role of religion in ecological advocacy is important because spiritual convictions often fuel environmental concern. According to a Treehugger article, 67 percent of Americans say they care about the environment because it is "God's creation."

The US is the world's largest Christian nation with 225 million adherents or 76 percent of the total population, the majority (51 percent) are protestant. With such a large number of Christians in the US, (as well as Canada and Europe), the beliefs of this religious tradition have a significant bearing on prevailing social and political attitudes.

While Evangelicals, Episcopalians and Mennonites are among US Christian groups that support climate care, some American Christian groups are adding fuel to climate denial.

Extreme Weather and Existential Reflections on Life in the Anthropocene

This article was written in November for Global Warming is Real. As 2013 winds down, it is appropriate that we consider extreme weather events as a focal point of reflection.  These events can help us to marshal the resolve we need to take a science based look at the facts and consider the ways that we can act for a better future.

The recent spate of deadly tornadoes in the U.S. and the carnage of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are poignant opportunities for us to reflect on the future of civilization. These events are tangible reminders of the sometimes intangible reality of human existence in the anthropocene. Extreme weather affords an opportunity to come to terms with the evidence that shows how human activities are degrading the Earth’s ecosystems.

While it is difficult to attribute any individual extreme weather event to global warming, when looked at over time, we see a convincing pattern.

Infographic - International Energy Consumption and Carbon Footprints (World Energy Report)

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Green Christmas and a Sustainable State of Mind

The holiday season is here and many of us are making more responsible choices, however, while personal actions are critical, this time of year is also a wonderful opportunity to green our consciousnesses. While we all must strive to reduce our energy consumption and eliminate the waste we produce, there is a psychological dimension to environmental stewardship that may not be so obvious.

People who are interested in being more environmentally and socially responsible do a host of things at Christmas time and throughout the year. 


When it comes to decorations, they use natural materials like organic cotton and sustainable wood. They avoid plastic containing PVC and toxic chemicals like phthalates, as well as decorations that contain lead and mercury.

All I Want for Christmas is a Price on Carbon

As 2013 winds down, there are promising signs that we may actually see a price on carbon in the U.S. In 2010, the cap-and-trade bill was killed in the Senate by the fossil fuel industry’s ubiquitous misinformation campaigns. However, a confluence of events have renewed hopes that we may yet see carbon pricing legislation that could significantly reduce U.S. carbon emissions.

Why we need a carbon tax

Paying for carbon pollution is the best way to put free markets to work to reign in global warming causing emissions. There is a virtual consensus among economists who say that putting a price on carbon is the most effective way to fight global warming. The case for carbon pricing is strong, this point has been repeatedly made by the World Bank and a number of economists including a team from the London School of Economics.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Event - Fuel Cells Science and Technology 2014

This Grove Fuel Cell event will take place on April 3 - 4, 2014, at NH Grand Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Thousands of fuel cells are being produced annually and sold commercially in a wide range of applications, but continued research, both fundamental and applied, will be essential to help reduce production costs and increase durability.

Event - Land & Water Summit 2014: Drought as an Opportunity For Change

This summit will take place on February 20 - 21. The Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and Arid LID are partnering once a gain to bring you this summit. Over the past several years, drought has dominated over all of our lives. The demands on our limited and decreasing water resources are stressed yet new demands are continuously being added. This year, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and Arid LID strives to find both traditional and non-traditional speakers that generate positive change during a water crisis through storm water mitigation, water harvesting and low impact design principles. Let’s use the drought as an opportunity to assist our attendees in promoting both creative solutions and innovations in the field.

Event - Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference

This event will take place on February 10 - 11, 2014 in Washington, DC.  This year’s Conference is focused on repairing the systems Americans rely on every day, whether getting us back and forth to work, supplying our power, keeping us safe from storms and floods, communicating with police and fire during emergencies, or ensuring the institutions where our children learn are safe and healthy. It's time to repair these systems today to create quality, family-sustaining jobs, to address the threat of climate change, and to ensure the health and safety of our workplaces and our communities. Join thousands of business and community leaders, union members, and environmentalists at Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014 and take up the call to Repair America.

Event - Building Climate Solutions: 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment

Building Climate Solutions will take place on January 28-30, 2014 in Washington, DC. The 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment is organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). This event will engage over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of natural and social science, humanities and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to develop actionable partnerships, strategies and tactics that advance solutions to minimize the impacts of anthropogenic climate change.

Event (Symposium) Green Growth, Green Jobs: Integrating Employment and Environmental Policies Across Europe

This symposium will take place on 29 January 2014, from 10:00am - 4:30pm at NH Hotel du Grand Sablon in Brussels. In the EU, more than 20 million jobs are already linked to the environment and the figure will increase as the EU continues its commitment to growing the economy while protecting natural resources.

A key objective of Europe 2020, the strategy for growth and jobs, is to address the need for sustainable and inclusive growth through the promotion of a competitive and greener economy in the EU. As part of the strategy, the EU has committed to offer its support to businesses so they can achieve the shift to a greener economy whilst remaining competitive on the global stage.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Video - Unsustainable Christmas Statistics and How to Make Christmas Greener

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Video - Climate Reality Leaders Program Graduate in Action

This video that highlights a Climate Reality Leader program graduate in action. Dr. Susan Pacheco is one of the nearly 6,000 Climate Reality Leaders that are trained by former U.S. Vice President Gore to share the message that climate change is real ... is happening now ... and is one of the most important issues of today.

Video - Local Small Scale Solar Across the US: Freeing the Grid

For more information click here to go to "Freeing the Grid."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Video - Overfishing: Current Levels of Fishing are Unsustainable and Jeopardize the Future of this Important Food Source

Around 90 million tons of fish are removed from the world's oceans every year. But the seemingly inexhaustible food source is proving finite. More and more fish species are disappearing. And it's no wonder, because up to ninety percent of each catch is thrown over board again as worthless by-catch. This documentary accompanies scientists, fishermen and fish processing factories. It reveals the sometimes threatening and sometimes unexpected links in overfishing and addresses real solutions to rescue the oceans.

Video - Why Cold Weather Does Not Disprove Global Warming!

Infographic - People Living Less than 5m Above Sea Level

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Republicans Have Painted Themselves Into a Corner on Climate Change

The Republican position on climate change may drive party support to historic lows in the not too distant future. While most Americans (including supporters of the GOP) think that climate change is real and want the government to act, the majority of Republicans in Congress are science eschewing climate deniers. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, 58 percent of Republicans in the current Congress deny the existence of climate change or oppose action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Congressman Joe Barton of Texas and Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma are poster boys for the flat earth/Luddites in Congress. They regularly dismiss climate change as a “hoax.” However a new analysis from a Stanford University Social Psychologists makes this position politically untenable. Americans, including Republicans think global warming is real and want the government to act.

Except for Republican Members of Congress Climate Deniers are a Rare Breed in America

According to the latest research, the vast majority of Americans both Democrat and Republican embrace the veracity of anthropogenic climate change and want the government to do something about it. However, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, a solid majority (58 percent) of Republicans in the current Congress deny the existence of climate change or oppose action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Collaborative Fellowship Opportunity for Climate Experts from Developing Countries

International climate protection fellowships are being offered to young climate experts from developing countries. The fellowship allows the successful applicant to spend a year in Germany working on a research-based project of their own choice in the field of climate protection. Candidates should be interested in long term collaboration with German scientists on issues related to the scientific, engineering, legal, economic or social aspects of climate change.

Infographic - Following E-Waste


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Breaking News - Russian Duma to Free the Arctic 30

On December 18, exactly three months after their arrest, the Russian Duma voted to release 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists known as the Arctic 30. After their boat the Arctic Sunrise was stormed by Russian special forces the Arctic 30 spent months in jail for a peaceful protest against a Gazprom oil rig. It is not know what will happen to the Arctic Sunrise, currently impounded in Murmansk. The amnesty applies to thousands of prisoners and it does not amount to an admission of guilt but it does signal an end to legal proceedings.

Upon hearing news of their release, Peter Willcox the Captain of the Arctic Sunrise said, “There is no amnesty for the Arctic.”

Companies Calling for Chemical Regulation

While some companies actively resist government regulation, others are welcoming it. A group of responsible consumer product companies is pushing for chemical safety reform legislation to better protect the public from toxins that are commonly found in consumer products.

This coalition was started by Seventh Generation along with the American Sustainable Business Council. Other members of the group include Annie's, and Stonyfield Farm. These companies are behind safer products and chemicals for decades. they are also leaders in transparency and accountability. A reform bill for the anemic 37 year old Toxic Chemical Safety Act, has been languishing in the Senate for months.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Infographic - Climate Change as a Health Issue

Environmentalists Continue to be Murdered or Silenced by Courts All Around the World

If the killing of environmentalists were not enough, courtrooms all around the world are actively silencing environmental protest. Seven hundred advocates have been murdered in the last ten years and countless others are being silenced by courts. A recent report by human rights organization Global Witness documents the murders of more than 700 environmental and indigenous-rights activists over the last ten years. That translates to an average of more than one murder each week over the last decade.

The Global Witness data does not include those who are being jailed, assaulted, intimidated, harassed, or otherwise abused. We must support those who are persecuted for admirable activities like protecting wildlife, resisting illegal logging, or protesting against destructive corporate activities. It is unconscionable that people should be subjected to such treatment, it is even worse that the world often ignores the sacrifices they make for their noble endeavors.

Researchers Discover the Most Potent GHG Known to Man

Researchers have discovered the most destructive anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) known to man.  The molecule known as perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) can stay in the atmosphere for up to 500 hundred. According to research published in the Geophysical Research Letters on November 27th 2013, PFTBA was discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto.

Five U of T chemists developed a method of testing the air using a special chamber. The chemical was first used in the mid-1900s in electrical equipment and continues to be used for electronic testing and in heat transfer agents.

House GOP's Climate Denial Circus of Lies

The Republicans in the House of Representatives staged a climate denial circus on Wednesday December 11. Their so-called “factual” hearing about climate change, invoked the testimony of skeptics concluded that half of scientists think that global warming is a hoax. The actual number in more like 97 percent. They also tried to dismiss any connection between climate change and extreme weather. The Subcommittee on Environment hearing was ironically titled “A Factual Look at the Relationship Between Climate and Weather.”

Much of the lies and misrepresentation came from John Christy, a climate denying professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. While the only scientifically factual part of the hearing came from Pennsylvania State University’s Dr. David Titley.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Japan's Rare Earth Recycling Efforts

Japan is the world's leading importer of rare earth elements or REEs. To compensate for its lack of indigenous REEs, the Japanese government and some of the country's leading companies are working on REEs recycling programs. In 2010 Hitachi first revealed its REEs recycling program than in 2012 Honda announced that it would be launching a program of its own.

One of the primary reason Hitachi has developed the system is to reduce it reliance on China's supply of REEs (China has a virtual monopoly on REEs producing 97 per cent of the world's supply). Hitachi is hopeful that the recycled minerals will supply 10 per cent of its REE needs.

Temperature Fluctuations and Cold Spells are Consistent with Climate Change

What are the implications of cold snaps and wild swings in temperature for the veracity of climate change? Everyone who follows climate science knows that the planet is warming, but many are unaware of how temperature fluctuations may also be a part of the climate change picture. Scientific observations provide an overwhelmingly compelling body of evidence for global warming. Many lines of scientific evidence show that as a consequence of global warming, the Earth’s climate is changing, however, increasing global mean temperature is only one element of observed climate change phenomena.

Evidence of global warming can be seen in a number of scientific observations including melting ice and sea level rises. Anomalies like increased precipitation and extreme weather events support the data generated by climate models. However, radical temperature fluctuations are another dimension of climate change that is often overlooked.

The Middle East Hit by Anomalous Winter Storm

Almost unheard of cold weather and snowstorms have blanketed the Middle East. Both Egypt and Israel have been hit hard with record cold and snowfalls more characteristic of Canada than two of the warmest and driest places on earth.

Starting on the night of Wednesday December 11 and extending into the weekend, Israel was hit by the heaviest winter snowstorm in 60 years. The storm prompting school closures, canceled flights, snarled traffic and blocked access routes to the Israeli capital. Not since December 1953 has Israel seen so much snow including areas as far south as the Negev Desert on Friday.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Event - Water Industry Asset Management

Water Industry Asset Management will take place on January 28, 2014 at WWT / Birmingham, UK. This is a must-attend event for asset professionals looking to increase efficiency and address the complexities of moving towards a TOTEX approach.

Event - End of Waste Conference

The End of Waste Conference will take place on Thursday, January 30, 2014, 76 Portland Place, London, UK. This second edition of this highly successful Conference will look in more detail at how End of Waste regulations may affect your business.

Event - Flooding Conference 2014 with CIWEM RCG

Flooding Conference 2014 will take place on January 30 at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), 15 John Street, London. The subtitle for this event is, "Delivering Flood & Coastal Schemes & Projects Partnering, Joint Funding and Frameworks, Developing Practice and Emerging Lessons."


The ways of working and funding arrangements involved in the delivery of major flood and coastal schemes and projects are changing fast. The aim of this conference for flood and erosion risk professionals will be to showcase the developing and innovative partnership approaches to the effective delivery of schemes and projects. This will include the identification of the multiple benefits, working with partners, large consortia projects, framework agreements, shared services agreements, different contractual arrangements and risk management

Event - SolarTech Turkey 2014

SolarTech Turkey 2014 Green World Conferences will take place on January 27 - 28, 2014, in Istanbul, Turkey.  This event will bring together top solar energy technology companies, project finance providers, developers and installers. and allow your company to market itself towards high-profile audiences across the entire supply chain.

Turkey is the sixth largest electricity market in Europe, and one of the fastest growing globally. Increasing electricity generation from renewable energy sources is one of the country’s priorities in order to meet the growing electricity demand and diversify away from expensive, imported fuel sources. Turkey is aiming to connect to the grid 10 GW of solar capacity alone by 2020.

Event - Onshore Wind Development Forum Turkey

Onshore Wind Development Forum Turkey will take place on January 27 - 28, 2014 at the Green World Conferences in Istanbul, Turkey. This is the only event fully dedicated to onshore wind technology and project development in Turkey It will bring together top wind energy technology companies, project finance providers, developers and installers. and allow your company to market itself towards high-profile audiences across the entire supply chain.

The new renewable energy law introduced fairly attractive incentives for wind power plants in Turkey. In early 2007, the Turkish government updated the renewable energy law that guarantees wind generators with 10 year agreements involving a fixed tariff between 50/MWh and 55/MWh. Although somewhat lower than tariffs in other developing markets, the tariff, coupled with the high wind potential, provides good market prospects. The law also guarantees reduced costs for land access, generation, and licenses, as well as no VAT or custom taxes for wind equipment. It is seen that this law has encouraged many investors for making investments given below regarding renewable energies in Turkey and especially wind energy.

Event - Corporate Water Risk 2014

Corporate Water Risk 2014 will take place on January, 21 at Faversham House in London. This event brings together forward-thinking sustainability, risk and resource management professionals to share new strategies and tools for understanding, measuring, and managing water-related supply and operational risk.

Attend this one-day conference to understand how your peers are:

Event - Reducing and Managing Waste in the UK

Reducing and managing waste in the UK is subtitled implementing the Waste Prevention Programme and moving towards a ‘zero waste’ economy. This event will take place on January, 21, 2014 at the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum in Central London. Key issues facing the UK in waste management will be addressed including the priorities for the Waste Prevention Programme.

Environmental Stewards Program

Environmental Stewards Program begins on January 8, 2013. It will take place at Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Avenue, South Brunswick, NJ. The program runs through to May 14, 2014. Environmental Stewards Program is conducted by Rutgers at the EARTH Center. Anyone interested in learning more about the science behind environmental issues is an excellent candidate for the Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Video - House Hearings on Climate Change from Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) Questions to Dr. David Titley

Here is an excerpt from the Subcommittee on Environment hearing early in December titled "A Factual Look at the Relationship Between Climate and Weather." Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) poses questions to Dr. David Titley - Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Pennsylvania State University. Titley talks about skyrocketing reinsurance costs due to extreme weather, the increase in extreme weather events generally and the US military's recognition of the veracity of climate change.

Video - House Hearings on Climate Change: Opening Statement from Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

In December 2013, Ranking Member Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) delivers her opening statement at the Subcommittee on Environment hearing titled "A Factual Look at the Relationship Between Climate and Weather."

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Video - Ontario to be the First Place in North America to End Coal Power

Once North America's largest user of coal power, the province of Ontario, Canada's manufacturing heartland, is moving towards being the first place in North America to eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation. The province is also introducing the Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act to ensure the public health and climate change benefits. Despite the economic concerns expressed by some, when all the costs are tallied, doing away with coal power is the right way to go. Kudos to Ontario for the kind of forward thinking leadership that will help lead the continent and the world towards a cleaner tomorrow.

Video - Sustainability in Business is about Waste: The Value of a Circular or Closed Loop Economy

This video offers a comprehensive introductory summary of the value of addressing waste in businesses both large and small. The linear consumption based economy is littered with waste. It spends more money on energy than labor. According to the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the world could save $2.9 trillion every year by the year 2030 if it eliminated waste. Businesses have a powerful incentive to use their resources (raw materials, labour and energy) more efficiently through a circular or closed loop economy. Some of the world's leading corporations have demonstrated that by reducing waste they have increased productivity, saved costs, increased profits, and created jobs. In its simplest essence we need to think of the long term rather than just the short term which defines so many business models today.

Video - Science Based Visualization of the Earth Under the Influence of Global Warming

The data in this video comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fifth assessment report. This video was made by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Globaia, and funded by the United Nations.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Electronic Receipts are Convenient and Save Trees

Instead of printing out a paper receipt, many stores you now give you the option of sending your receipt by email instead. This is both convenient for consumers and it saves a precious resource. Around ten million trees are cut down each year to make receipts in the US. Trees both provide oxygen and sequester CO2. 

In addition to being better for the environment it also is a great way to organize your records. They can be kept in a separate folder for future reference. This is ideal in the event that you need to return an item or for filing tax returns.

Green Market Oracle's Gift Guide: A Summary of More Responsible Gifts

Are you someone with a green conscience looking for a last minute gift idea? Look no further than the Green Market Oracle's summary of green gift ideas that are sure to please everyone on your holiday list. These gifts are not only more environmentally responsible they also communicate something about your own ecological attitudes.

Here is a quick review of 18 gift recommendations as well as a dozen catalogs each full of green gift ideas.

General Motors: Government Bailout to Environmental Sustainability

On Monday December 9, the US government sold its remaining stake in General Motors Co. (GM). While the automaker is doing well financially, it is also making progress in terms of sustainability.

By most accounts the government bailout of the U.S. auto industry was a success. This view is convincingly communicated in a new study by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) called ”The Effect on the U.S. Economy of the Successful Restructuring of General Motors.”

The U.S. government was repaid the $39.5 billion it lent to GM as part of the 2008-2009 auto bailout, which forced GM and its Chevrolet division into a government-backed bankruptcy. According to the CAR study, in addition to saving 2.6 million jobs in 2009, the bailout preserved $284.4 billion in personal income between 2009 and 2010. In less than five years GM and other American automakers have become profitable and they have added more than 372,000 new jobs. However, the bailout was not only an economic success, it bought GM time to improve its environmentally destructive trajectory.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Increasing Vehicle Efficiency with New Lightweight Materials

New lightweight materials will help the automotive industry to be more efficient. Vehicular propulsion is all about the power to weight ratio. Lighter weight vehicles require less energy and are therefore more efficient.  According to a report from Lux Research new lightweight technologies are able to provide the same degree of structural robusticity as heavier traditional materials.  This is a trend that Lux Research anticipates  will revolutionize the transportation sector.

These emerging lightweight structural materials save fuel, which is an important strategic consideration for car makers both to minimize energy requirements and to save on fuel costs.  Energy use is expected to rise 53 percent from 2008 levels to 765 quadrillion BTUs in 2035.